MANNING Valley Race Club will seek to side-step the clash with The Hunter Race Day for the 2024 Taree Gold Cup meeting.
Race club chairman Greg Coleman agreed the Newcastle meeting held on Saturday had an impact on Taree Cup day on Sunday.
Gai Waterhouse, for example, had dual acceptors, Imintowin and I'm A Dirty Rascal for Newcastle and the $100,000 Taree Cup. Both were scratched from Taree and started in a race worth $160,000 in Newcastle. I'mintowin ran third and I'm A Dirty Rascal was fifth.
A field of 10 contested the Taree Cup.
"I was disappointed in the number of runners we had in our cup,'' Mr Coleman said.
"We clashed with Newcastle the day before, Scone ran during the week and again on Monday - there was a congestion of race meetings.''
This was the third time the club has raced the cup in November but the first time on the same weekend as Newcastle.
"Newcastle naturally holds preference over us and we'd possibly move our meeting a week or two, whichever way Racing NSW asks us, to avoid the clash,'' Mr Coleman said.
"We work in well with Newcastle - it's not their call, it's the programming committee call. But we'd certainly move our meeting a week forward or backwards.''
He said the Newcastle meeting would also have attracted racegoers from this area.
"There's the opportunity to go to a metro meeting, see the best horses and riders and it's only two hours away. People can make a weekend out of it,'' he said.
"And by the time Sunday gets here they're raced-out.''
However, Mr Coleman said the club would also have to avoid clashing with the Kempsey Cup, run this year on Friday, November 10.
"We don't want to impact on other club's major meetings,'' he said.
"Maybe we could look at going back a week, although we'd also have to be mindful of the Country Classic to be run at Rosehill on December 2. That's a race for country stayers and has prizemoney of $130,000.''
Mr Coleman said the club was reasonably happy with the cup day crowd, which he said was the biggest since the switch to November in 2021.
However, he conceded that after a promising start, numbers didn't build exponentially.
"It peaked very quickly,'' he said.
He said the Taree Gold Cup result 'couldn't have been better scripted' with Sound And Vision, trained by Karen Owen and ridden by her daughter, Madeline Owen, winning. Sound and Vision was the $61 outsider in the field.
Manning Valley races again next Monday and will have a further meeting on Sunday, December 24. They'll be back on Tuesday, January 2, when the Harrington Cup is the feature event.
The Harrington Cup meeting is now one of the club's biggest in terms of crowd support with holiday makers flocking to the track.
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